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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

Craig Padilla & Skip Murphy: Analog Destination (2008)

Updated: Feb 9, 2021

A big must for 2008 that I'm still listening with the pleasure of its first listen

1 Analog Destination 18:10

2 Stellar Nursery 28:14

3 Live Illusions 13:34

4 Quantum Swirl 16:34

(CD 77:33) (V.F.)

(Berlin School)

Recorded live, as much as in studio for tracks 1-2 and 4, this 4th Padilla Murphy collaboration brings us into a musical experience where improvisation mixes perfectly to their creative chemistry. A musical delight which transcends the meanders boundaries of EM, as space rock and prog rock.

Dark and wandering waves, tinted of a galactic zest, are blend to heavy and threatening reverberations in the opening of Analog Destination. A good slow intro which floats on morphic and poetic synths. Quietly, Padilla & Murphy sprinkles us with great synth layer loops that breathe in an ambiguous sound horizon where heavy and neurotic sequences reign among frenzied percussions. Synth breathes and music impregnates the air of hooking charming serenade that aren’t necessarily appeasing. Wonderful musical contrast on great harmonies. Great aggressive music by Padilla & Murphy which continues to astonish with the beautiful spacey Stellar Nursery. A Klaus Schulze intro (Body Love area) that vanishes in a relaxing cosmos. A cosmos covered by a superb fluty Mellotron whose celestial voices lull the deepest of the space, our subconscious, until its awakening by a looping sequencer rolling into a suave and languorous galactic tango that moves towards amazing analog sounds effects, recalling Jean-Michel Jarre period of Oxygene and Equinoxe. A great track which revolves constantly between two tempos, space rock and floating music, aromatized by great Mellotron moods and variegated rhythms, full of nostalgic ASE (Analog Sounds Effects).

Recorded in concert, Live Illusions, from the Phantasma album, fits with wonder to the frame of this very space and prog rock universe which girdles all along ANALOG DESTINATION. Respecting the floating introductory structures of Analog Destination, Quantum Swirl opens with a beautiful waltzing flute in a dense cosmos. Far away, a hypnotic sequence circles around a synth to harmonious pads, plunging us in the heart of Schulze analog years. Smooth Mellotron, growing hypnotic tempo and melodious synth, Quantum Swirl explodes into a heavy and frantic structure, guided by sequences with aggressive loops and wild synth solos. A superb passage worthy of the best metallic Tangerine Dream sequences, which dies out in the braised breaths of its opening.

ANALOG DESTINATION is a diversified opus which oscillates with ease between space rock as well as progressive rock in a great Berlin School Californian School EM atmospheres and structures. A big grabber and a must for the 2008 year. An opus that I'm still listening with the pleasure of its first listen.

Sylvain Lupari (September 30th, 2008) *****

Available at Groove nl

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